How to Optimize your Business for COVID-19

The “new-norm” in the age of COVID-19 has tested businesses across all different industries and one thing we’ve taken note of is how essential it is to stay agile and adaptable during these times. The initial shock and panic that the onset of the pandemic sparked has begun to subside and a reimagined reality has now emerged.

Shrewd marketers and businesses are finding ways to make the best of this situation, by taking advantage of less competition in digital ad buy. Decreased cost-per-click and cost-per-conversion paired with an increase in online audience usage has created a unique opportunity for businesses to get ahead of competitors and increase ROI. Deciding on spending or pausing digital ad buy all comes down to identifying opportunities for a business specifically.

Getting more aggressive on ad buy, of course, means aiming to get more traffic to a website. Once that traffic comes in, we have our clients seal the deal by making sure their digital interactions are as seamless and effective as possible. Even if increasing digital ad buy turns out to not be the best plan of action for a business, or if the best option is actually to cut some budgets, reallocating our clients’ newly freed funds towards adapting their onsite assets has proven to be effective to staying proactive and setting the businesses up for success during and post COVID times. We’ve noted that a businesses’ ability to pivot, adapt and leverage the tools at their disposal is the best way to strategize a new plan for success.

For years, we’ve been helping clients spanning a wide range of industries adapt to the times, overcome and work through any challenges they’ve faced and give them a new edge on their competition. Given the current circumstances, this is how we advise our clients and other businesses out there to optimize their marketing stacks and campaigns in ways that could give them an upper hand by implementing some of the following adjustments:

Website and Landing Page Optimizations

When running website and landing page optimizations for our clients, we start by helping them run a business goals audit. We work with them to help them examine where they’ve identified decreases in lead generation and revenue. We then identify where they can align available tools and assets with new conversion processes. We review the clients’ website, conducting a business dataflow assessment to help them optimize landing page sales funnels.

For example, in the current times, there is no need to throw a huge chunk of your budget out the window to revamp an entire site. Instead, opting to create a section, landing page or pop-up on how the company is handling COVID-19 could have just the right impact. Our clients have implemented this on their own websites, announcing new safety and cleanliness measures for brick and mortars, to updates on shipping times for e-commerce sites, to updates on wait times at customer call centers, and so on.

Creating clear calls to actions and appropriate conversion paths are crucial right now.

Technology Integrations

Next, it’s important to identify the right tech to help optimize conversion paths. Technology partners are more important now than they ever have been, since they help us create efficiency with day to day operations. From advanced work using the ZOOM API to convert client’s businesses and acclimate teams to a remote environment, to onsite food delivery optimization using OLO’s API, we continue to help our clients find innovative new ways to adapt to the current market. As a full-service marketing agency, we know what tools and technologies are available to suit our clients’ needs. We understand how to best leverage the tech for this new environment. The right partners can help businesses re-work their sales and support funnels, ultimately saving time and money.


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Web Copy and Content Optimization

Adjusting web copy and content is also key to staying up to date with all that’s going on. A website’s copy should reflect any changes in how the organization is handling operations and conducting business. Having the right tone that speaks to the situation and adds value for audiences is also important to maintain the organization’s essence and brand reputation.

We start with a COVID-19 adaptation audit, identifying areas in a site’s web copy where mentioning the current state of affairs is relevant. We search for ways where our clients can provide value to their clients and audiences via pertinent, helpful information. Since search including COVID-19 issues and related terms is up at the moment, this also helps clients tap into the search traffic generated by these types of trending queries.

Marketing Stack & Adapting to COVID-19

Re-evaluating your current marketing program with your agency is crucial to realigning your strategy in the most successful way possible. With our clients, we run a marketing stack audit and identify what efforts can be doubled down on and where there is room to pull back and reallocate. This is done routinely with our clients to help them assess what is the best use of their marketing dollars each month, quarter and year. Making key digital strategy optimizations is always how we help them stay ahead of the curve time and time again.

Spend or Pause: Ad Buy Covid-19 Analysis

Amidst all the ambiguity and uncertainty that has been going on with the Coronavirus pandemic, one of the major questions we have been asked by clients is whether or not to continue digital ad spend or to pause instead. When it comes to campaigns on AdWords, Facebook or Instagram Ads, the decision to spend or pause comes down to identifying opportunities.

As we’ve helped our clients in an array of industries navigate these uncertain times, we’ve seen many of their competitors act quickly to pause their spending. This happened almost all at once, like a mass knee jerk reaction when the news of COVID-19, grounded flights and the effect on the global markets hit headlines.

While the initial panic was not unfounded, we continued to monitor trends and quickly saw that what this did was effectively clear the playing field for anyone savvy enough to keep their digital ads going through the crisis. The unique circumstances created a perfect combination of opportunities for advertisers.

Higher Social Media Usage

With more users at home socially distancing, social media usage shot up. Forbes reported that a study of 25,000 consumers across 30 markets revealed a social media engagement increase of 61% over normal usage rates; Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp messaging increased 50% in countries hit hardest by the virus and a 15-20% increase in posts from 18 million users.

Cost-Per-Click During the Pandemic

Meanwhile, because of the mass panic that caused companies to pull back on ads, demand for ppc ads went down, thus driving the cost-per-click down. An increase in social media usage paired with a decrease in cost-per-click has been the perfect recipe for the opportunity for many agile marketing campaigns and for many of our own clients. Cost-per-conversions have also gone down, giving those still choosing to invest in digital advertising better results and more bang for their buck.

Opportunities for E-Commerce

One major sector that can take advantage of this is e-commerce. With more consumers stuck at home and not willing or able to purchase goods in person, online sales have come center stage. Brick and mortars took a hit but companies who have online sales funnels now have a major advantage. We’ve seen an increase in ROI for companies that have doubled down on their digital ad spend for online sales.

Some e-commerce trends and stats that have been compiled by industry experts are:

  • Beauty products have seen a 64.57% surge in sales since March
  • A 66.51% month over month increase in toy and game shipments
  • Fitness product sales have increased due to the stay-at-home mandates – 112.23% month over month

Since payroll protection was issued, we’ve seen a sharp uptick in business to business activity with many companies ready to get back on the horse and jump start their new campaigns. E-commerce has also seen a jump in sales now that stimulus checks have been disbursed.


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Adjustments in Ad Content and Messaging 

We’ve seen an adjustment in messaging and visual ad content from forward-thinking companies. In many cases, Q1 and Q2 may have been planned ahead of time with traditionally seasonal agendas, but we’ve advised our clients to take the circumstances into account, helping them pivot quickly by formulating new content and messaging that reflects the current state of affairs. Some of the most relevant ad content being used now across social, display and other platforms includes themes that keep audiences informed on how companies are implementing new safety measures. Messaging regarding new operating hours, closures, charitable initiatives as well as imagery of products that serve more at-home usage are what’s currently connecting and producing the most ROI for businesses investing in digital ad spend. For example, apparel companies have taken the approach of switching their regularly scheduled streetwear ad images featuring models wearing clothes meant to go out and changing them to more loungey, at-home looks and scenery instead to match the current buying climate.

Who should pause ad buy:

If your business model has been completely disrupted by social distancing, we believe this trend will continue. In this case we would suggest pausing all non-profitable media buys until the business has been re-engineered for the current environment. Unfortunately this applies to many service based businesses. We have helped numerous clients take the necessary steps to adjust in the current environment by focusing on home front assets and optimizing their business for COVID-19.

Who should continue to spend on ads:

For the majority of our other clients, our observation has been that while these are unprecedented and precarious times, taking advantage of low competition in the digital ad space could position a business for a strong bounceback if spending continues on the right platforms.

It’s important to first assess your business situation to identify any opportunities in the current market, revisit your strategies and make campaign configurations accordingly. Once you’ve identified the campaign configurations that get you the best results, you’ll be able to build on this and make campaign expansions. This way your business will be able to scale the winning strategy for the long haul. Our approach has been to continually refine campaigns over time, helping our long term clients get better and better results the longer we run their campaigns.

If there are areas in a businesses’ digital campaigns where spend should be tightened to increase ROI during these times, we have found that any budgets that are freed up often make the biggest impact when invested in onsite adjustments.

Conclusion 

At the end of the day, whether a business should spend or pause depends on their business model and industry. In many instances, there’s plenty to take advantage of given the low competition in the ad buy space. But if a business, such as many of those in the service industry, finds its entire business model completely upended by social distancing, it is necessary to take a step back, pause all non-profitable spending and focus on new approaches. We have been doing just this for our clients, applying a careful, case-by-case analysis and implementing the right optimization strategies to see our clients through these uncertain times.

Google Announces Mobile-First Indexing Across the Entire Web by September 2020

At the top of March 2020, Google announced that by September of this year, it will have made the switch to mobile-first indexing for all websites across the web. The gradual movement towards mobile-first indexing has been taking place for a few years now, dating back as far as November 2016 when Google first announced they would be experimenting with making the index mobile first. By 2017, it began evaluating sites for readiness and notifications to site owners about the mobile-first indexing moves began in 2018. Since then, updates and announcements have continued, with Google’s smartphone Googlebot continuously crawling the web.

Google’s aim has always been to continue improving the interactions between users and online content and they’ve acknowledged the successful work webmasters have done to facilitate the transition from desktop to mobile-first indexing. They’ve stated that a majority of the sites that are shown in search results – about 70% –  have already made the shift and are ready for mobile-first indexing. In the meantime, as more and more sites make the switch, Google’s smartphone bots will be continuing to crawl the web, moving sites to mobile-first indexing when it is detected that they are ready.

As a full-stack marketing agency, we’ve monitored all of Google’s updates and guidelines closely, keeping our clients abreast of any and all changes. We’ve worked on making many of our clients’ websites responsive over the years and implemented changes that have kept them ahead of the quickly evolving requirements.

With the switch being made official, that means it’s more important now than ever for webmasters and content creators to check for mobile-first indexing. One way Google has cited is to use their Search Console to check the status. This is one of the many ways we help our clients assess their website’s capacity for mobile. We inspect individual URL’s and review information about Google’s indexed version of any specific page. We also identify structured data errors, AMP errors and indexing issues and formulate a plan to correct these.

Our team checks the status of a URL’s index, inspect live URLs, request indexing for URLs and view rendered versions of the pages to help us better understand the status of a clients’ site. We also take a look at a loaded resource list and JavaScript output, among other information.

Google’s Recommended Optimization Guidelines for Mobile-First Indexing

Google has recommended users stick to these guidelines when implementing mobile-first indexing optimization:

  1. Content such as images, links, text and videos should be the same from desktop to mobile.
  2. Metadata such as robots meta tags, titles, alternative text and descriptions on mobile should match what’s on desktop.
  3. If the website was recently launched or redesigned, Google recommends users carry out checks in regards to content and metadata.
  4. Allow Google to crawl your resources. Some resources feature different URLs on the mobile site and the desktop site. Be sure you’re not blocking the URL with the disallow directive if you want Google to crawl your URLs.

Request iAnalyst to Analyze Your Website’s Mobile Readiness 


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In addition to these guidelines, Google also encourages the use of responsive web design for new websites and discourages the use of mobile URLs, sometimes known as m-dot, due to various issues and confusion these URLs have created for both search engines and users.

Our team has been helping clients optimize their sites for mobile for years. If you’re in need of making the switch or aren’t sure about your site’s readiness for the transition, contact us to help you evaluate your site and get your site ready if need be.

iAnalyst Announces Expansion to Orlando with New Internet Marketing Office Opening January 2017

internet marketing agency orlando

iAnalyst, a leading Miami based Internet marketing agency, has announced their business expansion to the Orlando market with an office scheduled to open January 2017. This expansion will allow iAnalyst to customize their innovative approach to Internet Marketing, SEO, PPC, App & Website Development for the Orlando and Central Florida market.

This announcement comes within 60 days of their acquisition of Oregon based Response Logic. “This has been a very exciting year for iAnalyst and we have full expectations to continue growth in 2017. With our CMO Randy Jarrin spearheading the Orlando expansion I have full confidence it will be another successful endeavor for us.” said Wes Cowan, President of iAnalyst.

“We are thrilled to be moving forward with this expansion,” said Randy Jarrin, the CMO, who will lead the new office. In addition to their new office, iAnalyst will be releasing a new SAAS software platform according to Mr. Jarrin. “Though we are not releasing details publicly at this point, we believe it will be a game changer & continue to fuel our aggressive growth.”
iAnalyst has become an industry leader over the last 6 years and continues to maintain full in-house support to focus on high quality Internet marketing services to its clients and agency partners. Wes Cowan, President of iAnalyst, is looking forward to the new expansion and explained ”Opening a new office will bring some tough challenges along the way, but I know Randy has the experience to make it succeed.” With the new office around the corner and their new software platform in the wake, there are several projects to look forward to as this dynamic agency continues to grow.

iAnalyst Acquires Internet Marketing Agency ResponseLogic.net

iAnalyst completes acquisition of eCommerce internet marketing agency ResponseLogic.net:

Miami, FL (August 15, 2016) – iAnalyst.com, a leading Web Development & Internet Marketing agency, announced today that it has completed the acquisition of ResponseLogic.net’s client base & online assets. Though iAnalyst has not acquired the company as a whole, the full client & online asset acquisition is key to iAnalyst’s ongoing expansion. ResponseLogic.net, founded in 2006, is an Oregon based agency that focused on eCommerce Internet marketing & eCommerce website development on platforms such as Magento, WordPress WooCommerce, Shopify & BigCommerce.

By combining ResponseLogic’s eCommerce specialization with iAnalyst’s existing in-house team & software management platform the acquisition has been completed with minimal disruptions. “ResponseLogic has been partnering with iAnalyst for years on complex projects which has built a level of trust that led to the acquisition. Upon this successful close I may now focus on my new primary business in the hydroponic industry.” said Erick Recors, Chief Executive Officer of ResponseLogic “From top to bottom iAnalyst is a stellar company with an excellent reputation. I know our clients will love their team & I have already been receiving amazing feedback.” Though the financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed publicly, the deal was a planned exit for Erick Recors who can now focus on his growing hydroponics business.

By joining iAnalyst, ResponseLogic clients now have access to iAnalyst’s full in-house support, additional Internet Service offerings & streamlined support through their proprietary in-house software platforms. The acquisition has already started to provide a drastic increase in ROI for clients. “I couldn’t be happier with the acquisition” said Wes Cowan, President & Founder of iAnalyst. “Not only does the client base fit perfectly into our portfolio, but Erick & his team brought a tremendous amount of know-how & experience in regards to eCommerce CMS Marketing. Erick is truly a web genius & I am not surprised with his tremendous success with his new company FullBloom Hydroponics.”

This strategic acquisition provides a clear benefit for iAnalyst, Erick Recors & all the customers involved. As the Internet Marketing & Development landscape continues to become more complex, in-house teams, such as iAnalyst’s,, have started to dominate the market versus outsourcing. Now that iAnalyst has completed this acquisition they have plans to open up an additional office in the Orlando market, let by their CMO Randy Jarrin & hinted that they are close to releasing an additional software platform in the SAS industry.

About iAnalyst Inc

Founded in 2009, iAnalyst has grown to become one of the leading East Coast based, full service digital agencies with offices in New York, Miami and now Oregon. iAnalyst works with small businesses and Fortune 500 companies alike, with offerings including Website & Mobile App Development, Search Engine Optimization, Pay Per Click Management, Landing Page Development, Social Media Marketing, and various Internet Marketing Services.

About ResponseLogic

ResponseLogic.net founded in 2006 in Asheville, North Carolina. With roots in direct marketing, digital marketing, and SEO, they spent the first years of the company primarily marketing websites. As time progressed, more and more clients needed, repairs and redesigning for their websites in order for them to convert more business online. ResponseLogic is a certified Google Partner, a Moz Pro agency and Bigcommerce Partner.

Discovering Blogger Outreach Marketing

Blogger Outreach Marketing

Everyone wants to increase exposure for their business with a clear roi. Blogger outreach has become a trending new phenomenon to be reckoned with. It’s a great way to align a brand with the right audience. Ever notice that your content may not attract potential clients when using basic search engines like Google, who tend to mainly use the same three article repeatedly even when changing the words around. Somehow it stills keeps retrieving the same three articles that you already read over and aren’t leading you anywhere.

Blogger outreach usually works in a more efficient manner; you can call it “the plug.” Technically speaking blogger outreach is used in a network port that gives you the opportunity to consult with many different bloggers who align with your brand. The strategy of working with online influencers such as bloggers helps build a brand ambassador network, promote new products, earn authentic mentions and get noticed by a variety of new consumers. The way blogger outreach works is a very organized and strategized way. Giving you the ability to kill 5 birds with just one stone. Cliche? Yeah i know, but let’s be honest; no one really has time to be searching different bloggers for one client and going back and forth with almost no success or no influencers.

Let me explain, blogger outreach is a networking style that gives many outlets in just one network source. First plan out a campaign which is going to attract your clients, or bloggers. This is the space that is recommended to be a little creative with so that you are reaching out to all types of influencers who are connected to your brand. Once a good campaign is planned out, the next step will be using keywords that will identify the right bloggers through a blogger outreach tool. Searching based on niche topics and blog rolls. Usually about 5 to 6 keywords that can be found in a blogger’s article.

Once a campaign and possible influencers are lined up the next step will be to create a pitch. Creating a personalized email that contains what you’re offering and why they would want to work with you, as well as what you want them to do for your brand. After you send it, one of the best part about this is the ability to create a follow up email. Which will be sent automatically when the network does not get a response in x amount of time. Yes i know, amazing.

Blogger outreach-when done correctly-can bring a lot of traffic and visibility to your brand. Give the bloggers you work with the assets to write about an entire experience with your brand. Send what you promise and make it awesome. From awesome content to new brand items to infographics to exclusive interviews. Offering the ability to promote when you earn media from bloggers by sharing it on your own channels. This helps your posts get exposure and helps the bloggers get exposed to new audiences. It’s a great potential platform for communicating with potential customers.

Last but not least, why does this make blogger outreach one of the best connecting/promoting ports for your brand? Well simply because buyers like to review product before buying. Making bloggers easier to search for by granular contextual criteria than influencers on other platforms.
Bloggers are some of the most sought out resources when consumers are researching brands and products. Bloggers are active on a variety of social channels so they are a great springboard for campaigns that span across many digital channels. Bloggers write about niche based topics instead of genre allowing marketers to find influencers who have a very targeted audience. Wasn’t lying when I said blogger outreach is the plug.

Benefits of WordPress for: Internet Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Website Development

At iAnalyst we are proud to offer web development, search engine optimization (SEO) & overall internet marketing for WordPress sites, along with marketing for all other platforms & code sets. Though WordPress has become the leading content system management (CMS) and rightfully so. WordPress is the perfect marketing tool to expose your company to a larger audience. Since its creation in 2003, WordPress has become one the most popular blogging websites. WordPress has since expanded to be used as a full content management system (CMS) operated by numerous developers with over 76 million sites. With a variety of features, WordPress has become the best platform used by web developers.

Usability
One of the main reasons why WordPress has become so popular is simply because it is easy to use. Adding images, posting blogs, and formatting text can be done quickly and efficiently with limited HTML software. WordPress can be accessed from any computer as long as it has internet access and a browser. The flexibility of WordPress allows the developer to constantly update information in an organized and timely manner. Since the technology is so simple and easy to learn, it will save you valuable time that can be spent elsewhere.

Personalization
Just because this CMS is simple and user-friendly doesn’t necessarily mean it will give you generic end result; in fact, the platform allows for in-depth customization. WordPress gives the user the opportunity to personalize designs to fit their brand. If you choose to, you can have one theme throughout the entire website, or you can have multiple layouts for different pages. This will give your website a unique look that will keep visitors engaged.

Mobile-Friendly Capability
With the overall spike use of mobile devices over the past few years, it is more important than ever for a website to be mobile friendly. Customers will constantly attempt to access your website through mobile devices, so it is crucial for your website to be mobile friendly; not to mention Google’s updates and penalizations for websites not yet optimized for mobile use. WordPress offers this accommodation by recognizing if a visitor is viewing the webpage from a computer or a mobile device to adjust the way the content is viewed. This provides an advantage over having to create a completely different website exclusively for mobile customers.

Complete Control
Another major advantage in using WordPress is that you will have complete control of your entire webpage. With this, you also have the ability to assign certain capabilities to different users for the website. For example, you can limit certain users to specific titles such as editor, author, contributor, and subscriber, which ensures that you will have the control of everything on your webpage. No one will have the ability to change information that you don’t approve of.

Plugins
A major factor that has made WordPress so popular over the years is the availability of plugins. There are thousands of plugins that have already been created to increase the efficiency of web pages. Plugins allow for greater interactions between the administrator and the users, while making the website easier to manage. Plugins can range from ensuring the security of the webpage to adding a FAQs page to the website. Whatever additional feature you need, there is likely a plugin available for it.

WordPress is the most reliable CSM used to create websites and with good reason. The flexibility of WordPress accounts for a wide range of skills in web developing, so whether you’re an experienced developer or a beginner, WordPress is the perfect CMS to use.

Top 5 Internet Marketing Insights for 2017

“Google will buy Twitter for tens of billions of dollars. Twitter won’t change much, but there will be more ads. The ROI for buying advertising in Twitter will go up.” This is a quote by Andy Crestodina who is the co-founder of Orbit Media and is considered a leading industry expert.

2017 seems to be the year of substantial increases of innovation in the Martech and Adtech industry. Understanding these new market trends will help teams as they begin to plan a 2017 budget even though some of the new technologies they will need are still on or just leaving the drawing board. Many industry professionals are interested in seeing how Microsoft will utilize the big data they have to create a stronger ad program within their recent acquisition of Linkedin. The thought of combining a huge social network of over 400 million users with one of the largest search engines in the world is every digital marketer’s wet dream. That goes without saying the endless possibilities that will emerge with combining those resources with Windows, Office, Dynamics, and Cloud. Can you imagine writing a blog post or article on Office 365 and being able to just right click to find an expert quote from Linkedin?

Trend #1: Double down on Automation and Social analytics

I’d like to remind everyone that Social Media is still in its beginning stages even though some of us feel that large companies such as Facebook and Twitter have been around a long time they are still in their infancy stage. Such as the beginning of any relationship, martech and social media are still getting to know each other, but social media advertising is projected to generate $11 billion in revenue by 2017. It is one of the largest opportunities of marketing exploration for the upcoming year, and as I mentioned before some of these social websites still have many ideas on the drawing board that will greatly benefit Internet marketing. A DMA research study showed that 70% of companies are still not collecting data from social media channels, so it is important that budgets are allocated towards social media analytics. Many companies are still unable to create and implement a robust social media automation that actually works. Different platforms and tools are still growing to help with prospecting and delivering content to the right customers in the moment they need engagement. Industry experts agree that a more valuable concrete solution is desperately needed to take advantage of this relatively untouched resource. They hypothesize the best solution is some sort of a collaboration between apps, networks and platforms all integrated with a marketing dashboard for end to end reporting of the impact social analytics has across the customer journey.

Trend #2: Invest more in the video and podcast bandwagon

These avenues are and will continue to become the best ways to engage audiences using visuals, colors, sounds and/or music. This also works in tandem with trend #1 because a great video will help build brand loyalty and trust by enriching a prospective customer’s journey. Convenience and sometimes necessity are enabling more video and podcast use, especially among those with a preference of “watching the movie” or “listening to the audio book” rather than actually “reading the book.” According to the newest edition of the DMA statistical fact book, 4 times as many consumers prefer digestible video content to plain text. Even Nicola Mendelssohn from Facebook says it will “probably’ be “all video” in 5 years. There is also an Edison research study that revealed approximately 46 million Americans listen to podcasts monthly, and the average user listens to six a week. Huge corporations are already taking advantage of this such as GE and Netflix who each have their own podcasts with registered listeners. As for future video content, Yahoo is a pioneer and has begun to allow you to take out full-screen auto-play video ads on their homepage. You may sometimes even see pop up type movie previews before accessing their main site.

Trend #3: Becoming as ‘human’ as possible in a digital world as fans want to know the people behind the brand and feel that they are understood.

It is widely accepted that the Internet knows more about you than the coworker sitting 2 feet away from you, so it is easy to understand the increase in paid searches and pay-per-click type of advertising over the last several years. Unfortunately, this strategy can become expensive if you do not have a flawless keyword strategy, and not to mention that there many flaws ranging from generating irrelevant site visits to making people feel they are being spammed in their web searches. Reaching your target market in a more organic type of way using blogs and user reviews has been the best way to establish legitimacy in your respective industry. Focusing more on the journey of a prospective customer and painting a perspective of helping them to buy rather than just selling them is something to look forward to in 2017. An excellent method of establishing this is through a more interactive mobile app with innovative sales and promotions geared towards making a consumer feel like they are part of an exclusive group. For example, the T-mobile Tuesdays app has an offer every week from free dominos pizza to a free Samsung Galaxy phone. There is also Target’s rewards app which uses advanced beacon technology to put offers directly in the hands of their customers as they walk through the store.

Trend #4: Focus more on the Pragmatic approach to building your brand

Stay consistent and make sure your message is always clear through all channels on what your brand is and what it is not as this vision will be your guide towards sound decision making. The right message at the right time can guarantee success where as bad timing or the wrong message will incur a huge setback or even total failure. Take care of your employees and empower them to carry on the clear and compelling message to all customers and stakeholders. The pragmatic approach will continue to increase faster than content of audience-based advertising. Most of the successful companies in the upcoming year will deliver this seamless, relevant user experience to drive true outcome-based results.

Trend #5: Stay Mobile friendly and start becoming wearable friendly

This is a bit of old news but just in case you haven’t heard, make sure Google thinks your site is mobile friendly. It is surprising that many companies are still dragging their feet on this as well as on increasing their Google ranking, but this should be a top priority for any and all brands. It is also very important that content be coded extremely well for customers to be able to transition smoothly not only from a desktop to mobile, but also from any of those 2 to a wearable device. In 2017, it is projected that 1 out of ever 4 U.S. consumers will be using a wearable device, so be sure to take this into consideration when planning a future budget. This means there will be even more data on every move the specific target market is making, and we must be prepared to produce and distribute content to fit each individual target buyer accordingly.

What is Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing has become the new talk of the internet marketing realm.  Influencer marketing isn’t as new as one would think, however the results of it’s success have begun to turn heads with in big corporations.  This article’s purpose, is to be a brief overview of what Influencer marketing actually is. 

Influencer marketing’s main goal is to get back to the root of social media’s authenticity.  This is where people post organically about something that is near and dear to them (photos, commentary, videos. etc.) & the message comes through as genuine because it is. Whether it’s about fashion, weight loss, parenting, etc., the people posting tend to have a large niche following, because other like-minded people have interest in what they’re posting, blogging, or videoing about .  These people doing the posting, blogging, & videoing are called “influencers”.

Now, the goal of the company doing the marketing, is to find these “influencers”, that may have some type of connection to their product, service, or message that they’re marketing, & have the “influencer” post , blog, or video about it to there specific following.  The better the influencer, the better results (engagement, shares, interest, etc.).   

Influencer marketing is not for every company.  It takes a lot of work to set up the influencer network properly, with a unique budget allocated to the system, campaign, & management.  There is no short cut with influencer marketing, which is great because it keeps the marketing authentic.  Companies like Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Google, Twitter, & Yelp have been talking about how they work hard to keep reviews found on their search engine or platform authentic. If influencer marketing is done correctly, the potential to push a market, product , or message genuinely is massive.  

Influencer Marketing Ethical or Deceitful?

In the past year the authorship of articles having to deal with influencer marketing has sky rocketed. As more comments, shares, & engagements arise one statement finds itself to be most popular. Should companies be utilizing influencer marketing or is the internet marketing tool/strategy unethical.  In order to answer such a loaded question, the influencer, the follower, & the company need to be examined closer.  In the past, “certain companies” have used “specific campaigns” utilizing marketing tools & strategies that may have been seen by some to be misleading. However, to assume a specific tool or strategy misleads a consumer 100% of the time, regardless the company or influencer involved, may be a bit inaccurate or skewed.

When critiquing an influencer, the question that comes up: If an influencer is 100% genuine about a topic or subject matter, does their message become less genuine once they receive payment or free product from a company that they’re posting, videoing, or blogging about. The answer is no. Influencers do not just pop up overnight. Specifically, micro influencers spend a lot of energy creating quality postings. With quality comes credibility, with credibility comes traffic, & with traffic comes a regular following.  This does not come from deception it comes from genuineness & authenticity. Most micro influencers understand, the moment regular followers detect that they are not being 100% genuine, a credibility loss then occurs. A decrease in credibility, correlates to a direct decrease in regular following.  The regular following of an influencer is the most important thing an influencer has. They would never purposely do something that would result in a loss of followers.  With that being said, majority of the time the amount of company products, services, & messages that a micro influencer turns down, is at a far higher percentage than, of the ones that an influencer actually takes on.  Macro influencers have a little more wiggle room because of the vast following they have. However, they still take into consideration what they choose to influence.

When critiquing a follower, the question that’s comes up: How much does a follower need to know to ensure the follower understands whom he or she is following.  The time someone spends on the internet is very precious and internet browsing is nothing new.  The follower completely understands whom they choose to follow is a decision made, 100% by themselves. If a follower is not sure about a specific topic or subject matter discussed by an influencer, they have the ability to engage with question or comment directly with the influencer, and/or share the influencers post with friends and family to get perspective on what is being stated or shown.  When it comes to minors on the internet public and private filters are used to ensure influencers that post about adult subject matters are not easily accessed.  Followers ultimately hold the control pertaining to influencers.  If a follower has an inkling that an influencer is being disingenuous they have the ability to call out the influencer publicly, privately, & stop following them.   

When critiquing a company, the question that’s comes up: How much does a company really care if an influencer is genuine or not, when writing a post, video, or blog.  They care greatly. Why; because, the amazing thing about influencer marketing, is if an influencer is not speaking genuinely about a product, service, or message, the tool/ strategy will not work.  If you have read any of the past articles written about influencer marketing pertaining to companies, you will always see the same comment quoted here, “If a company cannot see its product, service, or message genuinely being used, appreciated, or promoted by the influencer; Then the Influencer, most likely may not be the right match for the company.  Keep in mind the influencers following will see right through it, & the company will not get the ROI its looking for”.    It’s very simple the product, service, or message has no short cuts when it comes to influencer marketing.

Companies should be utilizing influencer marketing as a marketing tool or strategy. Not only should it be used, it should be encouraged. If anything, Influencer marketing is bringing additional ethics to the internet, and we should embrace the tool & strategy, and build off of it.